A woman says:
My boyfriend has ADD and is extremely sensitive. How can I stop him from blowing up each time I offer the slightest criticism?
Michele Novotni answers:
Do certain situations always trigger his anger? If so, see if there's anything you can do differently.
If getting out of the house on time is a major source of conflict, for example, try giving him a 15-minute warning. And think carefully about the language you use when talking to him. Don't use blaming statements, such as "You are ___ " or "You did ___." Use "I" statements, like "I feel___."
Find a non-threatening time to talk with him about his anger. If he doesn't take medication (part of managing anger is improving impulse control), suggest that he give it a try. Ask what support you can provide, and come up with strategies together. If you feel you need help, consult a therapist.
Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist and coach in private practice in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
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